LIXM On “Stars” and Being a Smaller Artist

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Graphic by Emily Lantzy

LIXM is a new and upcoming artist who I had the joy of being able to talk to and interview. He started playing music at a young age and started producing when he was only 11 years old. He just released his new single “Stars,” which is a electronic-pop danceable song. Here are some things he had to say about the single and about himself as an artist.

I have read that you have been playing music since you were only four, what caused you to gravitate towards music at such a young age?

I think because my grandmother and mother played piano and I would always sit by it and play with the keys. My mom decided to sign me up for piano lessons when I was four, and I didn’t really like classical piano. I would always gravitate towards pop music, so I would look up chords and play them on the piano. Music is such a big thing in my family, so I have always been surrounded by it.

Are you a self-taught musician?

Yes I am.

What music inspires you to write and produce?

I learned production from someone at age 11 and he would give me assignments to do. I remember the first song I learned to produce to was “Roar” by Katy Perry, and I tried to reproduce it on my own. Pop music and music on the radio has inspired me to produce. Also superpop music like Carly Rae Jepsen and Kim Petras and my friends who make great music and the whole Twitter world.

Could you tell me, for those that may not know, what is the difference between writing and producing?

A lot of producers are writers, I do both. Producing is when you sit down and use a mini instrument like a keyboard and remix it. I make the sound you are hearing like the beats and the drums and synths. Writing is the actual words you write down. I started writing after I got my heart broke last summer. 

I have read that you also make jackets, could you tell me more about that?

Two years ago, I went to a Kesha concert and I wanted to make myself a jacket. In grade 5, we had to make something that represents ourselves, so I made a paper mache 3D computer, because I was into computers, and it was really extra and crazy. I was thinking about what I was going to do for the concert and I painted a jacket with symbols from her album and lights, and she brought it up onstage. I kept doing it for more concerts, and I was able to meet so many of my favorite singers like Camila Cabello, Carly Rae Jepsen, Troye Sivan, and Kim Petras. I was able to help design costumes and stuff too for the artists, but now I am focusing more on music.

You have a new single “Stars” out on August 16th, when did you decide that now was the time for you to create an actual song?

It was when I realized that nobody trusts to work with a 17 year old boy who has never put out any music. I tried my hardest to reach out to artists to produce with them and make a song with them but they didn’t answer, which I understand. I feel it is good to give people a chance, so I decided to make a catchy song and put a lot of promo behind it and videos and just have fun. 

How would you describe the sound of your new single?

I would describe it as superpop. I wrote in a thing to all my followers it’s just the kind of pop where you just throw your hands in the air and give in to the euphoric feeling of it all and dance. I relate to artists who say that they make sad music to dance to because this is not a happy song; I have written more songs that have a more happy feel to it. I decided I wanted to make a sad song and turn it into a bop.

Is there any advice you could give to those smaller artists trying to create music?

Do what feels natural. If you don’t know where to start, I would go to karaoke sites and learn what goes into a song. Songs are made out of different things, like a bass part, a middle part, a drumbeat, and you kind of just have to break it down and learn it. I studied the mechanics of pop and I have learned a lot from my friends who are artists. I would say reach out to your peers who know a lot about music and try not to do it alone, it’s fun to collaborate with people.

Lastly, how important is listening to and finding smaller artists, like yourself?

Oh my god, I think it’s so important. I used to be so close-minded and only listen to songs by bigger artists, but since going onto Twitter, I have found smaller artists and have become friends with them. I have playlists full of smaller artists that I listen to. Smaller artists with 500 followers make better music than I hear on the radio. They make such good pop music, I don’t want to hear the same Ariana Grande or Katy Perry song (even though I love them) because these smaller artists have so much to offer. 

If you appreciate listening to and finding smaller artists, make sure to follow LIXM on Twitter at @lixmmusic and stream his new single “Stars” available wherever you listen to music.